Tennessee Titans: Three Keys to Victory Over the New England Patriots

The NFL’s second season is upon us! The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend. This year it is an all AFC Saturday and an all NFC Sunday. The Tennessee Titans, as the sixth seed, will travel to New England to take on the New England Patriots in the late game on Saturday. This should be one of the better games of the weekend to watch. What will it take to win and move on? Guts and determination are key. Both teams will show that. In addition, in saying that, here are three more keys for the Tennessee Titans to get past the New England Patriots.

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Derrick Henry

Henry was the winner of the 2019 NFL Rushing title. He ran for 1,540 yards in the regular season (102.7 RYpg). He was the workhorse for the Titans offense. After the switch to Ryan Tannehill from Marcus Mariota at QB, there was a renewed sense of getting Henry work. That work is going to have to show up again on Saturday if the Titans are going to have a chance against the Pats.

The Patriots come into this game finishing sixth in the NFL against the run (95.5 RYpg). They are only allowing 95.5/game. Thus if the Tennessee Titans are to be successful and move on to play the Baltimore Ravens, they will have to be diligent in solving the Patriots run defense.

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Ryan Tannehill

Tannehill took over as the quarterback of the Tennessee Titans in week 6 against the Denver Broncos. He then started the following week and every game since then. He finished the season with just over 2700 yards passing. However, the bigger story is the leadership and control of the offense that Tannehill has had.

The offense of the Titans has been in much better control under Tannehill. He gets the ball to his open receivers, he is smart and thus keeps drives alive, and he can use his legs when needed. The Titans are going to need this against the veteran’s ability against the number two passing defense in the league.

Pressure Tom Brady

Many teams, when playing the Patriots, like to sit back in the zone. I think that is the wrong way to play them. The Tennessee Titans need to come out and play aggressive on defense. They need to pressure Brady and not let him have time to scan the field. Sure, this may cost them a big play or two. However, your offense has shown the ability to move the ball and score with big plays too.

While the pass defense of the Titans comes in 24th (255 PYpg), I feel that being aggressive is going to be one of the ways to keep them in the game. Defenses that are aggressive against the WRs of the Patriots and can rattle Brady are more successful than the ones that are passive.

This game is by far one of the most intriguing matchups of the weekend. This Patriots team is one of the most vulnerable Patriots teams in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. They are beatable and the Tennessee Titans will be the first team tasked to try to do it.

What do you feel is key for the Tennessee Titans on Saturday Night? Leave a comment below.

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Sean Naylor

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